Sitting for certification in March--anyone else?

  1. Looking for a possible study buddy--or encouragement, or suggestions....

    I'm taking the plunge, a little concerned because I have read several posts in the past about how difficult the exam is and the high failure rate. On the other hand, I know I am pretty good at preparing and succeeding....

    Still, anyone out there doing this too? Or already did and want to share some experiences?

    (No exam item specifics please. )
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Genista
    Funny. My coworkers said it was "easy." I'm aiming for the Sept. exam, though, because I ordered the study guide over a month ago & it still hasn't come!
    If you did okay on the practice exams I would think it's in the bag.Good luck! Hope you pass with flying colors!
  4. by   river1951
    You will do fine, it is specific to our practice but not terribly difficult. I sat last year and had not studied. Did fine. You will too.
  5. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Thank you both for the encouragement--I feel fairly confident, but then the "brain buddies" start suggesting that I feel confident simply because I don't know what I don't know....

    Gotta quit listening to those guys!

    kona2, I ordered my materials through HPNA (wound up being Kendall-Hunt Publishing or some such, but I used the links on the HPNA site). I didn't get a confirmation email (it has been two days, LOL), so I called them, and the stuff was shipped yesterday by UPS and should be here by Thursday, latest.

    If you ordered yours and haven't received them, you might want to follow up.
  6. by   rnrae
    How much experience as a Hospice nurse do you all have? I want to take the test and have been doing it for about a year.
  7. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    It is my understanding that in the past they actually required two years of experience, and you had to be signed off by someone who rather acted as a witness.

    The materials I have read, however, say that now they suggest two years of experience, but they also recognize that people learn at different rates, and they also recognize that in preparing for the certification examination, we are learning more, and thus improving the quality of hospice and palliative care. (I think, and this is JMHO, that there are those who could always get someone to sign off for them as having 2 years experience, whether it was the truth or not. Changing a rule when you know you cannot enforce it is a very good sign, again IMHO.)

    So, the answer to your question is, I have 8 months. The answer to the unspoken question, can you take the exam, is yes, you have enough experience to take the certification examination.

    The exams are only given twice a year, once in March and once in September. The deadlines to sign up to take the exam are the first of the month before (February and August).

    You can get more info if you go to www.hpna.org. I also googled hospice and palliative care and found some good info that way (but hpna is your best source related to the specifics of certification process).
  8. by   Genista
    Thanks Chris. I did follow up on my December order and there must have been a glitch in my online order, as though I had a confirmation #, it somehow didn't go through. I just re-ordered the core curriculum by telephone. ;-)

    RNrae- I have 4 years experience in this specialty as a part time RN.I work inpatient.

    I'm eager to get the core curriculum book and see what kind of good info it has there. It is pricey for sure, but hopefully a good reference. Best of luck to you taking the test in March.Chris- Maybe you could post back and let us know what you think of it? That would be great.

    I'm shooting for testing in Sept., so I have plenty-O-time! ;-)

    Kona
  9. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from kona2
    ...though I had a confirmation #, it somehow didn't go through. I just re-ordered the core curriculum by telephone. ;-) ....
    Funny--I called them because I didn't get a confirmation number, and I was worried I wasn't going to get my stuff.... It had shipped the day before. LOL

    Of course I'll post about my experience. I'm a little nervous ($295 is a lot to lose if I don't succeed!), but excited.

    (Oooopsss! Just realized I posted this info before! Naw, I'm not nervous at all! sheesh!)
    Last edit by chris_at_lucas_RN on Feb 7, '07 : Reason: sheer idiocy
  10. by   doodlemom
    I'm recertifying in March. When I took it the last time, I thought it was kind of hard - maybe I'm not as smart as you all . I had a lot of medication equianalgesic questions. It's a lot of money to lose if you don't pass so I am definitely going to study. As far as how much experience you have to have - I'm pretty sure the recommendation is 2 years but I don't remember that being a requirement. I know that the nurses that work for VistaCare are asked to take it after a year and are given a salary increase once they are certified.
  11. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from doodlemom
    I'm recertifying in March. When I took it the last time, I thought it was kind of hard - maybe I'm not as smart as you all . I had a lot of medication equianalgesic questions. It's a lot of money to lose if you don't pass so I am definitely going to study. As far as how much experience you have to have - I'm pretty sure the recommendation is 2 years but I don't remember that being a requirement. I know that the nurses that work for VistaCare are asked to take it after a year and are given a salary increase once they are certified.
    I wouldn't be too hard on yourself! We don't know what we are getting into until we are right there....

    Did you have the books, etc. last time? About how long did you prepare? I know it is different for everybody--I'm looking for any and all input.

    I'm planning on reviewing lightly for a couple of weeks (reading for pleasure), then knuckling down and really going for it (that's probably when I'll do the study questions as well). I have succeeded in the past when I have used google and other search engines to investigate various topics, etc., so I'll probably do that again too.

    And because, for some reason, I work very well under pressure, that last week I'll probably just about go numb from immersion in the material.

    Fortunately, using this method seems to cement it in my mind as well....

    How do you others who are taking the exam plan to attack the material?
  12. by   river1951
    Those equianalgesic questions are the bugaboo of all! I don't like them either. I've just done this work 11 years so I guess you probably get to internalize a hospice way of thinking in all that time. I probably could never go back to the hospital!
  13. by   doodlemom
    There were several of us in a study group who used books and tapes. We studied together once a week and then crammed the last week.
  14. by   debbers
    Hi...I am taking the exam this month, How are you doing with studying?

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